So you've put in the time sending off applications, writing covering letters, tweaking and re-tweaking your CV, meeting with recruiters and lots of positive social media activity! Finally it's starting to pay off. People want to meet with you and appointments are starting to pour in.
Time to prepare for .... THE INTERVIEW!
So let's take a walk through some simple preparation tips and just what you can expect from your average job interview!
Think about why you want this job and where it fits in with your career plans.
Research the company, their mission statement and exactly what they do. Where possible also try to research the person that will be interviewing you either through LinkedIn or on the company website. This will help you to build more of a rapport with the interviewer, a large proportion of any hiring is usually based upon a personal connection. Asking questions about why that individual likes their job and what they do for the company can really help you to go a long way.
Pre-prepare questions based around your research and in relation to what you need to know about the company and the role in terms of your own goals and progression.
Ensure that you have the following basic but crucial information:
1. Correct date and time of the interview.
2. Location, map and full address/contact details of the company or location at which you are interviewing.
3. Plan your travel time and transport/parking plans.
4. Name and position of who you are meeting and who to ask for.
5. Job title and full job description.
6. An up to date copy of your own CV.
7. Your prepared questions - having fully researched the company you are interviewing with.
Hopefully this should be obvious but always remember that first impressions are so very important.
In my opinion I would always tend to dress smart for an interview even if you know that the actual company culture is more relaxed and casual. It's the first time your potential new employer will see you and you want them to know that you mean business, can be smart and tidy and that you care enough to present yourself properly.
Keep calm, breathe and focus. It's normal to be nervous but focus those nerves in a positive way.
If you've done your preparation then you have no need to worry. Of course interviewers may try to ask tricky questions to test you under pressure but you can handle it. Just don't jump to answer too quickly, don't be afraid to pause and think of a constructive and appropriate answer instead of going for what first comes into your head.
Try not to fiddle or twitch by way of showing your nerves. Sit tall, feel strong and believe in yourself and your skills. Smile and make lots of eye contact, be personable. Remember they have already seen your CV so they already see something in you that they think could be relevant for their company and the position you're interviewing for so don't let that voice in your head get the better of you!
It may not be something we tend to do very often nowadays but it is actually quite nice to show your enthusiasm and professionalism by sending a brief thank you email or letter afterwards.
This happened to a friend of mine recently who had been interviewing for new staff. It really made that candidate stand out and showed that he was serious about the role for which he had interviewed. It doesn't need to be long or too gushing just short, polite and professional should do the job.
If you got the interview through a recruitment agency then it probably won't be appropriate to send a thank you directly. However do ensure you speak to your consultant as soon as possible and give them your honest feedback. If you are keen, let them know. If you aren't then be honest otherwise you will only waste theirs and your own time.
Hopefully all will go well. However if you're unsuccessful this time around then don't be afraid to ask for feedback. You should always take feedback both positive and negative and use it to improve your approach next time around.
So that's a few brief tips and ideas for approaching the dreaded interview! Take it seriously and prepare, prepare, prepare! Make sure you understand your own career history and goals. Review your strengths and weaknesses and go in there and knock em dead!